I read the articles about chicken imports which will now be taxed even more and it strikes me just how ridiculous this whole chicken (pun) import thing has become. If you read carefully you will note that bone-in chicken imports are 2% of poultry imports and boneless chicken makes up 11%. But as insignificant as that may seem, consider the people in South Africa struck with poverty. When a man has a job at a chicken farm and earns the minimum wage and supporting a large extended family, will he buy the more expensive local chicken to protect his job? A man buys the cheapest and even if it means he will lose his job as low price is king when you have very little. The fairer question perhaps would be to ask the government how much of the tax on the import of chicken is going towards innovation of local chicken production methods that can compete with the rest of the world? How much of the tax money from chicken imports is going towards teaching up and coming farmers how to cost effectively produce chickens? How much of this tax money will be used to subsidize local chicken production to encourage more chicken farmers and increase jobs?
Imported Chicken is Bad!
Perhaps we should ban the import of chicken altogether. That way if we run out of food we can just encourage local chicken farmers to increase production on an empty stomach while expecting people to pay for the more expensive local white meat with money they do not have. While we are banning imported chicken, let us ban imported cars, imported cellphones, imported wine and everything else which is imported in favour of locally produced goods. Oh no, hold on, we actually need some of these as we cannot produce them locally at a price anyone could afford. Why don’t we start our own cellphone factory and tax all other cellhone imports to death so our cellphones can rule the local market. It does not matter if the cellphone we produce is not as good as those imported, we need to create jobs! Protecting inefficient production through taxing external proction is poor economic strategy.
Using TAX to run the country
In a dictatorship a ruler utilizes tax as an income generator for himself and his cronies. In a democratically free economy tax is used to benefit the citizens and run the country. Is the tax levied on chicken imports going back to the local chicken production industry in some way? If not, then where is that tax money going? Is tax on imports of chicken perhaps being used to fund the latest moving asset of the minister of chicken production? (If there is a minister of chicken production I apologize; at the time of writing such a portfolio was not yet common knowledge)
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